Plans submitted for new housing estate on former Lancaster hospital site

Plans to build 54 new homes on land once part of the former Royal Albert Hospital off Ashton Road in Lancaster have been submitted to the city council.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:25 pm
The former Derby Home in Lancaster
The former Derby Home in Lancaster

Oakmere Homes has applied to build new houses plus one three-storey building comprising eight two-bed apartments and conversion of “The Derby Home” to eight one-bed apartments and two two-bed apartments.

The 3.4 hectare development of three fields would also include regrading of land, creation of parking areas, internal roads including associated upgrading works to Pathfinders Drive, footpaths, and drainage infrastructure.

It would comprise a mixture of three, four and five bed house types named after famous Lake District places, and 10 “affordable homes” within The Derby Home. Access to the site would be via Pathfinders Drive.

The proposals include the conversion of the dilapidated Derby Home, which was originally built in 1913 as part of the Royal Albert Hospital.

The Royal Albert Hospital, originally called the ‘Royal Albert Idiot Asylum for idiots and imbeciles of the seven northern counties’, was built to the designs of E.G.Paley between 1868-73 and is a grade II* listed building.

An estate of buildings developed around the hospital (now Jamea Al Kauthar Girls’ Islamic College) during the later 19th and early 20th centuries, thereby enlarging the facility, and this estate now includes a number of grade II listed buildings, such as former farm buildings of the Royal Albert Farm which lie south east of the Derby Home.

The Derby Home is not listed, but it is considered a non-designated heritage asset on account of its age, style and relationship to the former Hospital and associated buildings.

The application concludes: “The statement explores the significances of the Derby Home and neighbouring listed buildings, with specific focus upon how these significances might be affected by the proposed housing and the repair and conversion of the Derby Home. The overall findings of the statement are that through repair and conversion the proposals for the Derby Home will secure a sustainable future for a vacant and neglected heritage asset, whilst the

proposed housing will have no appreciable impact upon the significance of the listed buildings, nor the settings of those buildings as it might contribute to their significance.

“For these reasons the proposals will result in a net enhancement of heritage significance (assuming the nature of the repair and conversion for the Derby Home is appropriate) without causing any appreciable harm.”

The former Royal Albert Hospital, now Jamea Al Kauthar Girls' Islamic College